The influence of the acclimation temperature on the thermotropic behaviour of mitochondrial respiration and on the degree of unsaturation of mitochondrial membrane lipids has been studied. The mitochondria were isolated from red muscle, white muscle and liver of goldfish acclimated to 5, 20 and 30 degrees C. ADP-activated succinate oxidation was measured at different temperatures and resulted in non-linear Arrhenius-plots with breaks between 10 and 23 degrees C. As for the break-temperatures, there was found a shift downwards in preparations of decreased acclimation temperatures. This could be caused by a changed composition of membrane lipids and a simultaneous shift of the membrane phase transition temperature. Therefore, the fatty acid composition of all membrane preparations was analyzed. However, no consistent change of the degree of unsaturation due to a changed acclimation temperature could be found.